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Sources Say • Repair dollars slow to arrive

Donations are only trickling into the fund to repair the damage to Chapman and Lownsdale squares caused by the Occupy Portland camp-in.

After the protesters were evicted on Nov. 13, Portland Parks and Recreation estimated the cost to repair the downtown parks at $85,850. But during the past two months, less than half of the money has been raised. So far, only about $39,000 has been donated to the repair fund set up by the Portland Parks Foundation.

Major donations still include $25,000 from Umpqua Bank and $4,000 from the Portland Marathon. Two people have contributed $1,000 each. An additional $500 has come from AFSCME Local 328, the union representing Oregon Health and Science University employees. The rest has come from about 150 individuals.

Those figures don't include the damage to the historic Thompson Elk statue between the two parks that may have been caused by the protesters who climbed on it. Cracks to the antlers were discovered during an inspection after the eviction.

The 100-year-old statue had not been inspected before the Occupy camp began, however, so no one knows for sure when it was damaged.

The Portland Business Alliance's Clean and Safe program donated $4,500 to cover repair costs.

Candidates face campaign time out

State Rep. Jefferson Smith is hustling to raise money for his campaign for Portland mayor before Feb. 1. That's when the Oregon Legislature convenes for the 2012 session. House members are prohibited from receiving campaign contributions during the legislative sessions. Sessions in even-number years are limited to 35 days, but can be extended five days at a time by a two-thirds vote of each chamber.

Smith has a public fundraiser scheduled for Jan. 26 at the Bossanova Ballroom on East Burnside Street. It will have to bring in a lot of money for him to catch up to the other two major candidates for mayor, however. Smith has reported raising almost $185,000 in cash and in-kind contributions so far. In contrast, New Seasons co-founder Eileen Brady is nearing the $500,000 mark and former City Commissioner Charlie Hales is closing in on $300,000.

The same restrictions apply to state Rep. Mary Nolan, who is running against Commissioner Amanda Fritz for the City Council. Nolan is not under as much pressure as Smith, however, because Fritz has voluntarily limited her contributions to $50. Nolan has so far raised close to $160,000. Fritz has collected about $73,000, including $50,000 in personal loans.

Choke on this, Portlandia

Is it a case of art imitating reality or vise versa? The Jan. 13 episode of 'Portlandia' satirized the city's obsession with allergy-free foods with a sketch featuring an Allergy Pride Parade. It ended with co-star Carrie Brownstein accidentally overdosing on sugar in a piece of candy.

Three days later, the Jan. 16 issue of The Oregonian included a front-page story on two new restaurants and a bakery catering to people with food allergies. The second paragraph has one chef saying, 'I had one person who couldn't have any sugar of any kind, natural or refined.'

Now the show has sparked a debate about whether Portlandia hits too close to home. A Jan. 20 article on Salon.com asked, 'Can the 21st century, granola-crunching, organic-farm-supporting, 'Daily Show'-quoting, early-technology-adopting, bike-lane-promoting American left laugh at itself?'

In response, the blog Fish and Bicycles ran a piece, 'Portlandia: Why am I so defensive.' It ended with: 'In my mind, we need more people like this, and if we are marginalized we're in deep trouble.'